Fascinating article about President Obama and Racism in “The Nation”.
Here is a brief excerpt and a link to the full story:
Remember when the media regularly asked if Barack Obama was “black enough” to get the support of African-Americans? In 2007 pundits wondered if a black-identified but technically biracial candidate who came of age in the post–civil rights era, was raised far from traditional African-American communities, was educated in the Ivy League and boasted a foreign name might be more palatable to white voters than black ones. Today this query seems hopelessly naïve and endearingly optimistic about the fluidity of American racial identities. After the secret-Muslim accusations, the witch doctor posters, the “You lie!” shout-down and the chimpanzee e-mails—it is clear that President Obama is certainly “black enough” to experience both racially motivated public attacks and exceptional support among racial minorities.
But the tenacity of the birther movement has revived the issue of Obama’s blackness for me. Nearly a quarter of Americans, most of them white, believe President Obama was not born in the United States. The resilience of the birther myth—lately given air by Donald Trump—has even forced the White House to post a copy of Obama’s birth certificate online in hopes of settling the matter once and for all. Good luck—this controversy isn’t about documentation; it’s about deeply held beliefs, even faith claims, about who is and is not a legitimate citizen.
Many on the left say that birtherism is just racism, but there’s more than simple racial animus behind it. I suspect that part of the problem is that Obama is indeed not black enough; specifically, the president is not sufficiently Negro—the historical variation of blackness that is uniquely and indisputably American.